Explore the great state of South Dakota with its rolling plains and shooting granite peaks during your South Dakota travel. If you are searching for a place to go that is not filled with the trappings of modern life go to South Dakota.
Getting to Know this Midwestern State
Find South Dakota in the backbone of the nation, a fitting place to be for a state that has been a part of US history for so many years. The state is named for the Dakota and Lakota Sioux tribes. After the Lewis and Clark Expedition discovered the state, the Sioux experienced disaster including the Wounded Knee Massacre as they attempted to keep residence on the land. By 1874 the state was populated thanks to a gold rush in the Black Hills.
American Indians remain in the state living in seven Indian reservations. The nation’s largest population of Hutterites, a German Anabaptist communal group similar to the Mennonites and Amish, live in South Dakota. Farming industrial-size fields of the world’s largest crops of soybeans, corn and wheat fuels the economy. A strong will to overcome obstacles through hard work and determination, the people of this state stand tall for what they believe in. They are proud of their state and where they come from, albeit many towns in the state are so small they inhabit fewer than 500 people.
Rediscover South Dakota
The majority of Americans make a pilgrimage to the state for two reasons: the Mount Rushmore National Memorial and the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. During South Dakota travel you’ll discover the Black Hills, mountains with a black appearance thanks to the Ponderosa Pine, which encompass Mount Rushmore and Sturgis. In the East, South Dakota travel will grant you a tour of the state capital in Pierre, or visit the state’s second largest city of Sioux Falls. From the Badlands to the Missouri River, the land speaks to you as you reach deep to rediscover your pioneer spirit during your South Dakota travel excursion.
Surprise yourself with a day of fishing or boating on the many waterways, a common pastime for the state’s residents. Pheasant hunting is a huge boom for the local economies, as hunters from across the nation try out their weaponry during pheasant season, which runs from October through January. While you are in the area, look out for sunflower seeds and popcorn, the state’s most popular snacks. Go for the Walleye or pheasant with a side of cheese balls at most restaurants East River. To the west of the state, you’ll find buffalo on most menus. Don’t forget to finish your meal with a dish of kuchen, the state dessert. Kuchen, translated from the German word for cake, comes filled with the fruit of the season.
Summers are exceedingly hot and dry. Spring and fall are breezy and cool, which make for the best times to visit the state. Winters can be harsh with ice storms and blizzards blanketing the ground from October to March; temperatures often reach 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Most Popular Activities and Attractions in South Dakota
1) Ride to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
2) Go to the South Dakota State Fair
3) Attend South Dakota Festival of Books
4) Camp at Custer State Park
5) Go spelunking in Jewel Cave
6) Explore Wind Cave
7) Hike Harney Peak
8) Helicopter ride over the Black Hills
9) Drive the Wildlife Loop at Custer State Park
10) Gamble in Deadwood and Lead
11) Watch a rodeo
12) Touch the animals at the Reptile Gardens in Rapid City
13) Explore the interactive Children’s Museum in Brookings
Must-see Places in South Dakota
1) Mount Rushmore National Memorial
2) Needles Highway
3) Spearfish Canyon
4) Crazy Horse Memorial
5) Badlands National Park
6) The Corn Palace
7) Badger Clark’s Badger Hole Residence
8) Dinosaur Park
9) Storybook Island
10) 1880 Town
11) South Dakota Air and Space Museum
12) Great Plains Zoo
13) Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in De Smet
Most people don’t think of a trip to South Dakota as overly thrilling or exciting. Mount Rushmore is the main attraction that comes to mind, which is amazing once experienced in person, however with so much more to do there, it is a very enjoyable trip, especially as a family.
View Larger Map
South Dakota – Mount Rushmore Entrance